Metropolitan Panteleimon of Antinoes
In today’s Gospel reading, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ spoke about the Parable of the Talents. He brings us before a serious subject, which concerns each and every one of us. Every man has been gifted by God with various talents, different charismata, various skills. These talents one must concern as gifts from God, who entrusted them to us so that we will give an account to God.
St. John Chrysostom, interpreting the Parable of the Talents explains, that with the term “talent” our Lord Jesus Christ means the abilities and skills of each and every one of us to practice every good deed with responsibility. So, if we hold an official public position, or we have a special place in society, or if we have been blessed with wealth, or we are gifted with capability of knowledge and teaching, or with whatever other spiritual gift, All the “talents” are God-given.
According to the Parable, the “talents” are given by God to man. But, in Holy Scripture God calls men generally as His children, but here He calls them “servants”. This God does in order to reveal, that we are responsible before Him, and that we should obedient in a perfect way; not because we are considered as “servants”. But, because God’s Law is perfect and beneficial to all. He who follows God’s Law becomes truly free and offers himself to perfect obedience to God. Even our Lord Jesus Christ became the prototype example for all faithful. For us He became a “servant”, and humbledHimself so much, and became obedient to the Divine Will till death. “Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:6-8).
The Parable’s lord gave the talents to his servants and immediately departed to a country far away. God gives us His Talents, then various gifts, but never stands over us as a despot or tyrant to force us in any way, but He leaves us to use our talents freely as we wish. If we do not use them properly, then although He continuous to respect our free will, He shows mercy and patience till the moment when He will return to demand an account from us.
The talents are given in order to be used with responsibility, as we will give an account. Time goes by and we will give our account. This account is necessary and Christ assured us many times that it will take place (see Matth. 18:23-24; Luke 19:11-26).
But, if thetalents are ours, then why should God demand an account from us? The skills might be ours, but we have them from God. Our skills our either naturally, or they have been given by the Grace of the Holy Spirit, consequently, they are from God. For this reason our Lord in the Parable says, that the lord gave his belonging to his servants. The charismata which we have, we must see them as belongings of God, which have been given to us by God. Thus, we should use them as divine gifts and use them and increase them to a perfect level, according to God’s instructions.
Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself recognized this obligation for Himself, as He considered as His duty to preach the Kingdom of God to all the cities and country side.
The responsibility for our deeds and use of our talents and skills is generally for all of us. Our Lord assured us that each of us will give an account according to his works (Rom. 14:12).
This understanding that one day we will give an account should guide us throughout our lives. Our skills, small or big, should be used with great responsibility. It is not enough to do something, but we should struggle to increase the talents. Woe, to that person who had received a talent and he hid it!
Let us accept with humbleness and gratitude the various talents and charismata and let us struggle to multiply them for the glory of our True God, the Holy Trinity. Amen.